Some of you may be wondering what the difference between a QuickBooks Release and QuickBooks Version Upgrade is.  Well look no further because we have the answer.  Version Upgrades are software upgrades that include significant changes and contain new or improved features.  Intuit releases these each year and names the versions after the year they are released for.  For instance, the QuickBooks 2012 versions of the products were just released a couple of weeks ago.  Version upgrades are not free, but may come at a reduced price when compared to the new user price.  Because of the breadth of features released each year, and since connected services such as payroll, merchant services, email, etc. stop working on older versions, we recommend that companies using QuickBooks Pro or Premier upgrade at least every two to three years. Companies using QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions should however upgrade to the latest version each year and stay on the full-service plan provided by Intuit.  Remaining on the full-service plan is the most cost effective way to receive the updated software, and provides larger organizations with much needed, newer features. QuickBooks Release Updates are free and generally don't add major new features to the software.  Instead, releases are designed to enhance the product, and fix minor errors.  They aren't released on any set schedule, but are rather released as errors are fixed throughout the year.  Some versions receive many release updates throughout the year while other versions receive minimal release updates.  Since release updates can occasionally be unstable in the first days and weeks they are released, we recommend that QuickBooks users do not activate the option to automatically download and install the update but rather manually install the update.  Check back with us on a periodic basis to find out which release update is the latest stable release before installing the latest update.  We typically watch consultant forums in the first days and weeks after a release comes out to hear whether there are any issues with the update.  Waiting to install stable releases is particularly important for larger companies who have a large number of customers, and users. If you are not sure which version or release you currently have installed, push F2 while in the program and the product information window will specify.
Still not sure if you should upgrade or download that new release?  Call us for advice or ask about our data file maintenance services designed to handle these upgrade needs on a set schedule.